Is anyone else excited about President’s Choice printing their Holiday Insider’s Report again? Seriously, that is such a gift for us foodies! I feel like a kid going through the foodie version of the Sears Catalogue deciding what I want to pick up!
I decided to go for the PC Ascolana Fried Olives Stuffed with Cheese first. Olives and cheese? These were made for me! What a cool idea for a holiday appetizer. I found them near the PC Barbecue Chicken Steamed Buns at my particular store and they were $8.99. For the record, I paid for these out of my own pocket.
“Gloriously great green olives, just got greater (and cheesier). We took the legendary Ascolana olive (a classic recipe from Italy’s Marche region) and stuffed them with not one, but four cheeses. Then we lightly breaded them. Then fried them. When you set them out—on the appetizer table, charcuterie board, or alongside ice cold cocktails—guess who the new legend will be. (It’s you—the legend is you.)”
Uh… They were literally just sitting in a box. There was no plastic bag and they almost went flying when I opened it. OK, not a great start. This makes them much more susceptible to freezer burn and the box did not close easily so clearly these are for using all right away
Normally I would have copied and pasted the ingredients here but they are not on the product information page!
What the heck? May contain pits? I think that should have been on a warning label or something! I am used to warnings about soy and mustard is an odd one but pits and/or pit fragments? Yikes!
Once again the nutritional information is not on the product information page. So bizarre! I swear they used to include all of this information on their site but perhaps because it is just for the holidays they did not bother but people want to know this information so I took photos.
OK so let’s get to the cooking and eating portion of the post! Preheat oven to 400F on a single layer of a parchment-lined sheet for 14 minutes, turning once.
This is where things get tricky for me. I have a small hybrid Ninja machine that does bake but it is very thin in comparison to most ovens and foods cook fast.
The First Foodie Results
“Filling may leak if overcooked.”
Damn it. I baked them according to the instructions and they were definitely overcooked. As a result, I did not feel as though this was a proper representation of the product and made them again. This time?
The Second Foodie Results… Air Fried!
Much better! Air frying seems to get hotter faster and food takes less time so I made these in a 350F air fryer for 10 minutes and turned once.
Now THAT is what I am talking about! Nothing wrong with a little cheesy ooze.
These olives have incredible texture. Truly they are a high quality olive! I wanted to know more about them but can not seem to find any other intel other than they are “green” but I know there is a story there. They are not too salty or brine-y. They are firm and luxurious. Thankfully I had zero pits show up in mine and I have eaten almost the entire box preparing for this product review!
The four cheeses (Edam, Blue, Provolone and “hard ripened cheese”) are quite subtle. I would have been thrilled to have more of a punch to the tastebuds with more Blue cheese but that is me. I like big and bold flavours. This is definitely more subtle for pleasing a holiday crowd. Oh warm olives are particularly delicious and seriously, who is going to make these cheese-stuff battered olives themselves? Which is why I choose them as a product to review. Something special for guests that is easy to cook in the oven.
I honestly do not remember the battered exterior very much. There was no serious crunch even after going through the air fryer. I thought there would be a little bit of a drip of brine from the olives but no, they were quite dry and shockingly not super salty. In fact I would have liked more salty goodness. That said I did adore the combination of the warm olives and cheese and do think this is absolutely fantastic for an appetizer for a winter get together.
Potential pit shards and lack of proper packaging aside, I think this is a genius product President’s Choice! I wish you had more product information available online for people to check out but on their own, these are quite delicious. A little large for finger food perhaps but absolutely worth the $8.99 for a completely unique party treat that is easy to make.
I give PC Ascolana Fried Olives Stuffed with Cheese four out of five wooden spoons. I honestly feel that for food safety and quality control purposes they should be in a plastic bag inside the box and as tasty as they were I wanted a little more flavour but an excellent start!
Is there a particular product from their Insider’s Report you would like me to put through my test kitchen? At the moment I am taking requests!